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Power Rankings: Spelling Bee of Names

Imagining if San Jose Sharks players' names were used in a spelling bee

by Ann Frazier, Casey Krygier /

Last night's National Spelling Bee saw Fresno, CA native Ananya Vinay win it all, which prompted the question: what if the San Jose Sharks names were words eligible in a spelling bee? Which ones would be the hardest to spell?

Please note: "semaphore" is a not an eligible word on the list, as Joe Pavelski and Evgeni Nabokov likely drilled it into your head after you watched their commercial five hundred times. 

8. Martin Jones
Origin: North Vancouver, BC
Pronunciation: Mahr-tn Johnz
Used in a sentence: Brick walls wished they could stop pucks like Martin Jones.

To warm up, here's arguably the easiest name on the team. Mess this up, and you probably shouldn't be in a spelling be anyways.

7. Joe Thornton
Origin: London, ON
Pronunciation: Goat
Used in a sentence: Joe Thornton is the greatest passer of all-time. 

A fairly simple name, but it's not uncommon to see people accidentally spell it "Thorton."

6. Tomas Hertl
Origin: Praha, CZE
Pronunciation: Toe-mash Hur-tl 
Used in a sentence: Tomas Hertl is still known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Hertl despite no longer being a teenager. 

Unconventional (well, for the English-speaking world) spelling of Thomas, a two-syllable last name with only one vowel; this name is made to trip up American and Canadian spellers. 

5. Brenden Dillon
Origin: New Westminster, BC
Pronunciation: Brend-en Dil-uhn 
Used in a sentence: The nicest player in hockey is Brenden Dillon.

This falls under the "alternate spelling to a common name" category, with Brenden versus Brendan.

4. Jannik Hansen
Origin: Rodovre, DNK
Pronunciation: Yah-nihk Hahn-suhn
Used in a sentence: Jannik Hansen is not to be confused with Mikkel Boedker

Between a first name that defies conventional phonetics, and a last name that could very easily be confused with the popular music group Hanson, Jannik Hansen's name could trip a lot of people up.

3. Mikkel Boedker
Origin: Brondby, DNK
Pronunciation: Mih-kehl Bawd-kuhr
Used in a sentence: Mikkel Boedker is not to be confused with Jannik Hansen.

The Danish spelling of Michael (or Micheal - we'll get to that later) plus the rare-in-English "oe" combo makes Mikkel Boedker one of the harder names on the list.

2. Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Origin: Montreal, QC
Pronunciation: Pik-uhls
Used in a sentence: There are few people who like dogs more than Marc-Edouard Vlasic. 

Hyphenated and three vowels in a row? There's a reason why "Pickles" as a nickname caught on so quickly. 

1. Micheal Haley
Origin: Guelph, ON
Pronunciation: Mahy-kuhl Hey-lee
Used in a sentence: Man, Micheal Haley threw some bombs in that fight. 

Why is Michael Haley the hardest to spell? Well, because it seems nobody knows how to spell Micheal.

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